AHAB

(GERMANY)

THE CORAL TOMBS

(2023)
LABEL:

NAPALM RECORDS

GENRE:

DOOM

TAGS:
Growl, Melancholic
"Ahab is back at its best with 'The Coral Tombs', a stormy tale rich in dramatic atmosphere and stormy darkness."
CHILDERIC THOR (17.04.2023)  
4/5
(0) opinions (0) comment(s)
A major Funeral Doom entity, Ahab has nonetheless developed its own universe since its birth, almost twenty years ago, nourished by sea spray and drawing its inspiration from a whole maritime literature (notably Herman Melville's "Moby Dick"). Hence the label "Nautik Funeral Doom" that the Germans invented to define themselves. Guided by such an aquatic muse, it was obvious that they would one day turn their attention to Jules Verne's "20,000 Leagues Under the Sea". It's done (well) with "The Coral Tombs" whose cover and song titles immediately reveal its theme.

Because of the band's reputation and the interminable silence in which it has been walled up since 2015 and "The Boats Of The Glen Garig", this fifth album was highly expected. Not only faithful to the nautical concept that presided over its launch, Ahab has not renounced its favourite format, which still commands a necessarily epic menu (over sixty minutes) and compositions to match. In fact, we don't approach a new opus of the quartet like any other Doom album, we prepare for it as before an expedition, knowing that a long journey awaits us, paved with numerous pitfalls.

This is all the more true with "The Coral Tombs" which immediately plunges, as the telluric 'Prof. Arronax's Descent Into The Vast Oceans' announces, into the depths of the abysses, into this world that the light never reaches and which is still unknown to us. Forget Richard Fleischer's nice adaptation for the Disney studios, which is actually excellent, it's on the contrary an abysmal darkness that predominates during this opening that a screamed vocal and an epileptic drumming fill with an almost black metal swell. Very quickly, however, Daniel Droste's clear voice resounds with all its fragility, a miraculous buoy to which we cling in order not to be swallowed by the tentacular siphon of these crushing laments that are also split by crystalline guitar lines that are beautiful to cry.

Even if the whole album is wavering between tempestuous darkness and salutary clarity ('Collosus Of The Liquid Graves'), "The Coral Tombs" shines above all with its atmospheric escapes, these rises to the surface, which are thus merged with the limpid vocals of the long-distance captain capable of pulling all the blades of the ocean, like on the beautiful 'Aegri Somnia', which is nonetheless shaken by the telluric assaults of an underwater earthquake.

Vibrating with a force worthy of overlapping tectonic plates, the album also impresses with its many nuances. The writing and arrangement work is superb ('The Sea As A Desert'), it knows how to capture both the mysterious beauty of these marine depths and to restore the essence of Jules Verne's book, all in melancholy and furious power, as admirably illustrated by this titanic 'Maelstrom' which inexorably sinks into a Marianne pit without hope of return.

Ahab is back at its best with 'The Coral Tombs', a stormy tale rich in dramatic atmosphere and stormy darkness.
- Official website
SIMILAR BANDS:
KRAKEN DUUMVIRATE, MIDNATTSOL

TRACK LISTING:
01. Prof. Arronax’ descent into the vast oceans - 8:06
02. Colossus of the liquid graves - 6:25
03. Mobilis in mobili - 8:20
04. The sea as a desert - 10:48
05. A coral tomb - 10:10
06. Ægri Somnia - 12:22
07. The Mælstrom - 10:01

LINEUP:
Chris Hector: Guitares
Corny Althammer: Batterie
Daniel Droste: Chant / Guitares / Claviers
Stephan Wandernoth: Basse
   
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